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Marriages of Mao Tse-tung

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Mao Tse-tung was married four times. He was considered a womanizer with a fondness for women, especially actresses.

Here's more information about Mao Tse-tung's marriages and children.

Born:

Mao Tse-tung born on December 26, 1893 in Shaoshan, Hunan Province, China.

Died:

Mao Tse-tung died of a heart attack on September 9, 1976 in Beijing, China. Some sources state that he died of Parkinson disease.

Mao was 82 when he died. Tiananmen Square is the home of his mausoleum.

Mao's Marriages:

Mao Tse-tung was married four times.

  • Woman Luo. Luo was Mao's 18-year-old cousin. Mao referred to her age as 20, but that is considered an exaggeration.

    They were married when Mao was 14, c.1907-1908, in an arranged marriage. The couple never lived together. Luo was born in c.1889 in Shaoshan and died in 1910.

  • Yang Kai-hui. Yang was the daughter of one of Mao's teachers at the Changsha provincial normal school. Married in 1921, they had two or three sons. Yang was executed in 1930 by the KMT/Kuomintang forces.
  • He Zichen aka Ho Tzu-chen and Ho Zizhen. Born c.1910 in Jiangxi. Mao had lived with He Zichen since 1928 when she was 18. They married in 1930 in Jiangxi, and had five daughters.

    She accompanied Mao on the Long March of October, 1934 and had one of their children on the march. She was in poor health and Mao sent her to the Soviet Union for medical treatment.

    While she was away, Mao fell in love with Lan Ping.

    His marriage with He Zichen ended in divorce in 1939 in Yan'an. She was reportedly confined to a mental hospital in Russia. She died in 1984.

  • Lan Ping, aka Yunhe, Jiang Qing, and Chiang Ching. Born c.1913-1914. Lan Ping abandoned an arranged marriage, and had two other failed marriages. Lan and Mao met at one of his lectures in 1934 in Yenan. Mao married Jiang Qing in 1938-1939. They had two daughters. She was an outspoken film actress.
    Although it was love and passion at first sight, in later years the couple was not close.

    Under her leadership, and by the use of "Quotations from Chairman Mao" (The Little Red Book), Mao and Jiang tried to remove old customs, habits, and ways of thought from the population. She even reformed the traditional opera and movies by requiring they include stories of class struggle.

    In 1969, she lead the "radicals" of the Cultural Revolution. She was considered leader of the "Gang of Four" and was arrested in October, 1976.

    Her trial in November 1980 lasted until January 1981. She was sentenced to death, but it was later commuted to life imprisonment. she died in 1991. Jiang Ching is not mentioned in Chinese history.

Mao's Children:

Due to conflicting reports, the number of children that Mao had is unknown. It is believed that he fathered seven to ten children, abandoning several daughters when they were babies. He did not have close relationships with his children, even when they were adults.

  • Son, Mao An-ying aka Sergei. Born c.1920, his mother was Yang Kai-hui. He was educated in Moscow. He was married to Liu Sigi aka Liu Songlin. He was a Russian interpreter in China. He died in the Korean War in 1950.
  • Son, Mao Anging aka Mao An-ch'ing and Nikolai. Born c.1924. His mother was Yang Kai-hui. He was educated in Moscow. He was married to Shao Hua and had a son, Mao Xinyu. He is said to have had mental problems and institutionalized in Darien, Manchuria.

  • Son, Mao An-lung. Born c.1926. His mother was Yang Kai-hui. He reportedly was adopted by another family after his mother's death.
  • Daughter, Li Min. Her mother was He Zichen. She was married to Kong Linghua and had a son, Kong Ji'ning and a daughter, Kong Dongmei.

  • Four other daughters by He Zichen. Two were said to be abandoned on the Long March. He Zichen is said to have spent many years searching for her lost children.

  • Daughter, Li Na aka Hsiao Li. Her mother was Jiang. She was married to Wang Jingqing and had a son, Wang Xiaozhi. Li Na was educated at Peking University and became a historian and journalist.

  • Daughter, Li Min. Her mother was Jiang.
Other sources state that Mao had other children but they were abandoned, left in the care of peasant families, or held as semi-hostages in the Soviet Union.

Occupations and Interests:

Mao was a school principal, soldier, the Chinese Communist leader for forty-one years, workaholic, voracious reader, and poet.

Trivia:

Mao apparently believed that having sex with virgins "would help to restore and reinvigorate a man’s health and vigor. Girls from throughout China were brought to his bed, some willingly and some not."
Source: Mao's Women

Quotes:

Mao, concerning his first marriage: "I did not consider her my wife and at this time gave little thought to her."
Source: Autobiographical Notes on Mao Tse-tung

Mao, about arranged marriages: "In families in the West, parents acknowledge the free will of their children. But in China, orders from the parents are not at all compatible with the will of the children ... This is a kind of 'indirect rape.' Chinese parents are all the time indirectly raping their children ..."
Source: Washington Post

Books About Mao Tse-tung:

"Becoming Madame Mao"
by Anchee Min
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"Mao Zedong"
By Jonathan Spence
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"Mao: The Unknown Story"
By Jung Chang and Jon Halliday
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